“'I'm a resourceful and strong young woman, there is no other option.' That's the concept behind Greer Macallister's telling of the real, honest-to-goodness life of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Kate is a widow with no money and no honest prospects, and she is desperate. Her unconventional upbringing taught her flexibility, and, spotting Pinkerton's ad, she won't take no for an answer. She is hired as an agent and, having proved her value, is soon hiring and training more female agents and serving as a spy as the U.S. prepares to split apart. Girl in Disguise is a delight: entertaining and a sure nonstop read.”
— Becky Milner (M), Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Macallister has penned a great story featuring a strong, independent woman. Kate purposely pursues a career with Pinkerton, as she loves the life of a spy operative. I loved Macallister’s depiction of the time period right before and during the Civil War, and I really enjoyed the description of detective work in its early years. Great read!”
— Karin Wilson, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL
From the USA Today Bestselling author of The Magician's Lie
"Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction. Exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving..."—Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingways's Girl
For the first daring female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by, but danger and spies are everywhere.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin—unless that woman is Kate Warne. As an undercover Pinkerton detective, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in disguises that her fellow spies just can't manage. She's a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, a rich train passenger—all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she's been assigned to nab.
But is it only her detective work that makes her a daring spy and a clever liar? Or is the real disguise the good girl she always thought she was? As the Civil War marches closer, Kate takes on her most pressing job ever. The nation's future is at risk, and she's no longer sure where her disguise ends and the very real danger begins.
With magnificent historical detail, Girl in Disguise brings the adventures of one turn-of-the-century woman to tense, page-turning life.
Also by Greer Macallister:
The Magician's Lie
About the Author
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet, short story writer, and playwright who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain's Freckle Films. Her novel Girl In Disguise, also an Indie Next pick, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “a well-told, superb story.” She lives with her family in Washington, DC.
"Greer Macallister brings the original Miss Pinkerton roaring back to life in this electrifying tale. Girl in Disguise is a rollicking nineteenth-century thrill ride, complete with clever disguises and coded messages, foiled plots and hidden agendas, lies, indiscretion, and forbidden love. Kate Warne is a scrappy, tough-as-nails detective who did a man's job for the first time in American history. She lives and breathes again in this riveting novel." — Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun
"I was absolutely ensnared by Girl In Disguise, Greer Macallister’s unflinching investigation of what it means to be true to yourself while living a life of deception. Mysterious Kate Warne, who fought perception to become the first female Pinkerton detective, is just the kind of courageous, ingenious, fierce character I love. I could not stop turning pages as she dons disguises, tells lies, rubs shoulders with lady spies, hardened criminals, double agents, and President Lincoln, and manages to uncover the truth—not just about the crimes she investigates, but her own heart. Chock full of fascinating ripped-from-the-headlines period details and intriguing historical personages, I drank this book down in a single shot." — Erin Lindsay McCabe, USA Today bestselling author of I Shall Be Near To You
"an exciting, well-crafted historical novel. Loaded with suspense and action, this is a well-told, superb story." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED
"With cunning, guile, and a dash of desperation, Kate Warne charms her way into the old boys’ club of a mid-19th-century Chicago detective agency and soon finds herself catapulted into a world of spies, rogues, and double-crossers. As she dons and sheds all manner of disguises, Kate discovers that she has a knack for subterfuge — and more than that, she likes it. Inspired by a real-life story, Greer Macallister has created a fast-paced, lively tale of intrigue and deception, with a heroine at its center so appealingly complicated that she leaps off the page." — Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
"From the underbelly of Chicago to the front lines of the Civil War, Girl in Disguise crackles with spirit, and the trailblazing Kate Warne is a character I would follow anywhere. In Macallister’s confident hands, this novel is packed full of adventure, moxie, and heart. I dare you not to get hooked." — Rae Meadows, author of I Will Send Rain and Mercy Train
"If you love historical fiction, you’re going to devour GIRL IN DISGUISE. The time, the place, the girl – this book takes you on a thrill ride with the first female detective, making her way by pluck and luck through the seedy streets of 19th century Chicago, finding her place in a male-dominated world" — Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
"All hail a mighty woman in a man's world! Greer Macallister aims her pen at Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective, and hits the mark with this rousing, action-packed adventure. A book that brings to light a commanding and little-known contribution to American history." — Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children
"Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction. Exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving, Girl in Disguise reveals what one courageous woman endures to enact justice in a nation at war, and change the course of history." — Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
"Girl in Disguise cleverly unearths the story of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Fast-paced, subversive, and with rich prose, it's everything an historical mystery should be. In the end it will leave you stunned. And then you will want to read everything else Greer Macallister has ever written" — Ariel Lawhon, author of Flight of Dreams
"A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings." — Kirkus Reviews
"The best book I read in 2016 hasn’t been published yet. Historical fiction at its best…. a rollicking tale." — Publishers Weekly
"Macallister’s story is a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read, with compelling characters, twisted villains, and mounds of historical details adeptly woven into the tale of a courageous woman who loves her job more than anything or anyone else." — Booklist
"a sure crowd-pleaser for lovers of historical fiction and chilling plotlines." — Library Journal
"...the balance of beautiful prose with both the hard truths of Kate's experiences and and her emotional journey turn the sketchy facts of a shadowy historical figure into a very realistic, living and breathing person. What a pleasure to learn about one such woman, especially one we know so little about, through Macallister's eloquence and artistry!" — BookBrowse
"A Spunky Spy Saga....Girl in Disguise, Macallister's sophomore effort, dives into case after case, convincing the reader as well as Pinkerton that Kate is an ace detective in this dangerous man's world. Kate gets better as she goes — and so does the book." — NPR Books
"Readers who enjoy historical events told from the point of view of an engaging character will be well-served by Girl in Disguise. Kate’s voice is fresh and compelling, and therefore, overall, this is a very well-written and enjoyable novel." — Historical Novels Review